He has been an enthusiastic advocate for home-grown produce and a principal speaker in the climate change debate. And now Prince Charles is championing the virtues of a natural fibre ‘’that could be crafted into a wide range of the most beautiful and practical clothing’’. This fibre is none other than wool.
Writing in the Telegraph Magazine, the Prince of Wales appealed to people to use wool for clothing and furnishing in favour of synthetics, for its environmental and practical benefits.
He wrote, ‘‘Perhaps because it isn’t ‘new’ and hasn’t needed to be invented, we seem to have rather lost sight of the much bigger contribution that wool could, and should, be making in our lives.’’
The heir to the throne went on to say that natural materials like wool are going to be ‘’more important than ever as we face up to the challenges of climate change.’’ He recalled an experiment he carried out to tests fire retardancy and sustainability of wool against synthetics, when ‘’synthetic jerseys produced a dramatic and disconcerting blaze, while their woollen counterparts merely smouldered in relative safety.’’
In a second test, two jerseys were buried in a flower bed at Clarence House. Six months later, the Prince recalled, exhumation revealed that the synthetic jersey remained intact, while the woollen jersey had biodegraded.
The letter comes as HRH prepares to attend the Dumfries House Wool Conference, an event that he referred to as the ‘Davos of Wool’. It will be the largest gathering ever held in the United Kingdom, as environmentalists, experts, sheep farmers, fashion and interior designers meet to discuss challenges facing the future of the wool industry.
Prince Charles has been vocal in his support for sheep farms and organic methods. In 2010, he launched the Campaign for Wool, which is an initiative that aims to expand the market for wool and raise awareness on its substantial benefits.